Sharjah: Dr. Nevin Al Kilani, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, shared her views on the role of government communication in raising awareness about the importance of the creative sectors and the need to educate the public on the value of the cultural economy within local and global economies on day two of the International Government Communication Forum held at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Delivering a talk titled, ‘The future of the creative economy… Are we ready?’ as part of the Inspirational Talk series, Dr. Nevin Al Kilani said: “The 11th IGCF is being held in a new world - a world that is today witnessing rapid advances in development and where it becomes impossible to keep track of evolving transformations. We need effective tools of communication to build nations and protect countries and support the values of coexistence and peace which are the essential pillars of growth and prosperity.”

The Egyptian minister pointed out: “Finding new ways for coexistence and communication has been important since the beginning of civilisation. No civilisation has become strong without building bridges of culture and cooperation. Today, as the knowledge economy grows exponentially, countries must invest in new technology and software that will be the templates for the transfer of new knowledge to all communities.”

Outlining the institutional frameworks that are enriching the cultural sector in Egypt, the minister said that innovation will play a key role in attracting investments to build the knowledge economy. “These innovative visions must also take into consideration cultural specificity and identities of future generations as knowledge becomes the new capital for growth and prosperity,” she concluded.

Innovative solutions at the heart of government communication strategies

Alia Al Suwaidi, Director, Sharjah Government Media Bureau, highlighted the 11-year journey of IGCF in addressing global challenges, conceiving new ideas, launching initiatives, and proposing effective solutions and affirmed the pivotal role of government communications in the ability of nations to adapt to transformational challenges and achieve targets.

In her welcome address at the 11th  IGCF, the SGMB Director noted that the economic, cultural and societal issues that constantly dominate headlines the world over are only a broad indication of the larger challenges impacting humanity.

“The real focus should be on the innovative solutions that are decisive in shaping our current realities,” she said, adding “Communication tools compatible with present times can positively impact cultures and our way of living at every stage.”

In a world where change is constant – and change impacts every aspect of human life – the discipline and practice of government communication that “understands trends and sets development plans that align with the aspirations and dreams of communities gains all the more significance,” she stressed.

‘Princess of Reading’

At a dialogue session, ‘Arabic is not a second option’, Mezna Najeeb, the nine-year-old winner of the UAE’s Arab Reading Challenge (ARC) in 2019, was hailed as a “role model for the young generation” for her sterling efforts in raising awareness on the benefits of the culture of reading amongst children and youth.

Introducing the now 13-year-old to the IGCF audience, media professional and news presenter Mohammed Abu Obeid said: “The future of our societies is assured with the presence of such bright young talents.”

Mezna Najeeb took on the UAE’s Reading Challenge in 2019 and outperformed 455,000 participating students from 1,412 public and private schools to be crowned champion. She said: “The challenge benefited me immensely, expanding my interests and knowledge of new cultures and making me fluent in standard Arabic. “

The youngster continued: “The Reading Challenge caught my attention with its catchy slogan,  ‘Read to become a princess’. I wanted to become the princess of reading as I was driven by a desire to meet some of the most inspirational leaders in the UAE.”